DEVOCAST 19.8: FORGIVENESS
To have the gift of healing is amazing and is a testimony to the Spirit working through you.
To have the ability to know the deep things of the word of God is the grace of God being activated in order for understanding to lead towards application for our transformation.
The ability to prophesy clearly the voice and will of God shows one’s ability to hear God’s voice for the people of God.
But one of the greatest indications of God’s heart in a believer is their ability to forgive and it is unforgiveness which is the biggest hindrance to our growth. To have the spiritual gifts flowing through us is a nice sign to have but a display of our willingness to forgive is truly a deep display of one of the core values of God’s nature.
An unforgiving Christian is a betrayal of the forgiveness they have received from Christ and every situation is unique to the person it belongs to. By no means do we ever minimize our struggles but it is clear in the scriptures of the call to forgive is always there. To those who have been forgiven much, much forgiveness is expected from them.
The parable of the unforgiving servant gives us a picture of God’s heart on forgiveness and his expectation of the forgiven. The following principles are taught in regards to the parable of the unforgiving sermon:
Forgiveness requires accountability
Before the parable, Peter asks Jesus a question
Peter: Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?
Jesus: I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.
Peter asked seven times and even seven times is a lot to forgive someone but Jesus takes it to the next level by giving a ridiculous number. The point is not having a hard maximum to the amount of times we forgive someone but Jesus is highlighting the point that one should always pursue forgiveness no matter how many times one has forgiven another. Jesus was saying, there is no limit to forgiveness and sometimes we can say it will be unwise to forgive constantly because people will just abuse you in the end. One, forgiveness is a core Kingdom principle and cannot be ignored nor is it optional. Second; if we truly exercised forgiveness in the way God practices it, we would realize the depth of our own forgiveness and thus forgive but keep people accountable to live in a certain way so as to preserve the fellowship.
When you forgive someone, you are choosing to restore the person who has wronged you back to the place of honor they once were before the sin that they committed against you. Therefore the restoration to the place of honor is also a call to act in a way that is in an agreement to the place of honor.
Forgiveness - accountability = abuse
Forgiveness + accountability = restoration
Forgiveness is costly
A servant owed a king ten thousand talents and it is not an easy amount to be paid. If you understand how much this guy owes, you will not only realize his inability to pay but ask what this guy did to be in such an astronomical debt!
A talent is a measure of weight and was used in money in regards to either silver or gold. A typical talent would weigh around 33 kg and if we are to use gold as the standard which comes in at $41,155.69 USD per kg (June 2018).
$41,155.69 x 33 kg = $1,358,137.77 USD
1 Talent = $1,358,137.77 USD!!!
Now times that by ten thousand and you can only imagine the insurmountable amount of the debt. It was hilarious of the servant to plead with the master to give him time to pay this debt back because he will never be able to but in the midst of his crying out, the master had mercy.
The master did something astonishing by not extending the time period for this servant to pay back but completely wiped out the debt. The master forgave even at his own personal cost and sometimes I believe we don’t forgive others because it will cost us too much in our own eyes. What are some of the costs we are unwilling to pay in order to forgive?
This picture of the master is such a clear picture of God, sin, and us. Whatever good works we can conjure up with our strength, the reality is the absurdity to think we can earn our forgiveness from God by our works as much as this servant thought he was going to pay back his master of this financial debt. If we are shocked by the pit of debt this servant was in, we must be just as if not more astonished by the weight of our sin and how much it cost God in order to forgive us.
Forgiveness at times will cost you.
But it’s price is well worth the outcome for the price Jesus paid to gain our redemption from the debt of sin was dearly but the outcome was so beautiful and glorious. If we understand the debt we have been forgiven from, then there is no level of cost too much to forgive others because we understand the grace of God.
Forgiveness reveals the level of connection with God
and restores connection with others
The servant has been set free and is now in a situation where he is the one in power and have the opportunity to forgive someone. His fellow servant owes him a hundred denarii. Here is some quick maths, a hundred denarii is worth about four months average salary and therefore would be in 2018 would be 20,630. The debt the other servant owed the forgiven servant is big but a drop compared to what he owed the king but the servant didn’t have a lick of compassion but sent his fellow servant to jail.
The other servants are disturbed by this and tells the king of what has happened and the king was furious at the conduct of the once forgiven servant.
“You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?”
The king’s response reveals to us the truth of those who have been forgiven have an unspoken expectation to pay it forward and forgive others. The point of forgiveness is not dealing with the sin or infraction between two people but to restore relational connection. If we just focus on the fact that we escaped punishment rather than knowing how our actions affect another person, we are unable to connect to the heart of the other person. This servant escaped judgement but did not connect with the heart of the king and therefore did not forgive like him for he did not really connect with him. In the sam way, the forgiveness of sins should lead to connection with the forgiver which leads to a molding of our nature to be more like God.
We are forgiven.
Therefore we forgive.
I don’t know what you will have to do forgive the people in your life and I know forgiveness is one of the hardest things on earth because it wasn’t easy for God to forgive us but it is something God did for us and expect us all to do.
If you need help, ask the people in your life to lead you whether it is your pastor, parent, mentor, or even counselors because everyone has a reason why it’s hard but the call will always be there.
Let us no longer be divided by unforgiveness but seek to reconcile for deep connection.